Pierre, SD (PRWEB) March 28, 2013
Sand County Foundation, the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association and the South Dakota Grassland Coalition are proud to announce the finalists for the 2013 Leopold Conservation Award, which honors South Dakota landowner achievement in voluntary stewardship and management of natural resources.
The finalists are as follows:
Cammack Ranch is a 7,000-acre cattle ranch in west central South Dakota. The ranch is owned by Gary and Amy Cammack, who also own Cammack Ranch Supply in Union Center.
Guptill Ranch in western South Dakota is a 7,000-acre cattle operation. Pat and Mary Lou Guptill have owned and operated this family-run ranch for the past 25 years.
Jorgenson Land and Cattle Partnership is a fourth generation diversified crop, livestock and hunting operation on 18,000 acres in south central South Dakota. It is owned by Bryan and Brenda Jorgensen; Cody and Abby Jorgensen; Greg and Deb Jorgensen; Martin and Mary Jorgensen, and Nicholas Jorgensen.
Slovek Ranch is a nearly 14,000-acre cattle ranch in west central South Dakota. It is family owned and operated by Bill and Pennie Slovek and their son Bo.
Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the Leopold Conservation Award recognizes extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. It inspires other landowners through these examples and provides a visible forum where farmers, ranchers and other private landowners are recognized as conservation leaders. In his influential 1949 book, “A Sand County Almanac,” Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage, which he called “an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity.”
Award applicants are judged based on their demonstration of improved resource conditions, innovation, long-term commitment to stewardship, sustained economic viability, community and civic leadership, and multiple use benefits.
"Our South Dakota finalists are tremendously committed to stewardship of natural resources and to sharing what they've learned with the broader community," said Brent Haglund, president, Sand County Foundation. “They truly work to enhance the South Dakota landscape.”
The 2013 award recipient, who will receive $10,000 and a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold, will be announced April 19. The recipient will be recognized at the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association’s Annual Convention in December.
“The Leopold Conservation Award is an important tool in helping us celebrate the conservation efforts of South Dakota’s private landowners and SDCA is proud to recognize these finalists for making conservation a priority in their family businesses,” said Cory Eich, a cow-calf producer and president of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association.
“Each year I’m impressed by the quality of the applicants for the Leopold Conservation Award. It proves to us all that South Dakota is fortunate to have responsible landowners whose stewardship sets an example for others to follow,” said Jim Faulstich, chairman, South Dakota Grassland Coalition.
The Leopold Conservation Award in South Dakota is possible thanks to generous contributions from many organizations, including: American State Bank; Belle Fourche River Watershed Partnership; Daybreak Ranch, Ducks Unlimited; Farm Credit; The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation; Millborn Seeds; Mortenson Family; Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS); Partners for Fish & Wildlife; Professional Alliance; South Dakota's Conservation Districts; South Dakota Department of Environment & Natural Resources; South Dakota Farm Bureau; South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks; South Dakota Grassland Coalition; South Dakota State University Foundation; The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund.
About The Leopold Conservation Award
The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. The award consists of an Aldo Leopold crystal and a check for $10,000. In 2013, Sand County Foundation will present Leopold Conservation Awards in California, Colorado, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
About Sand County Foundation
Sand County Foundation (http://www.sandcounty.net) is a private, non-profit conservation group dedicated to working with private landowners to improve habitat on their land. Sand County’s mission is to advance the use of ethical and scientifically sound land management practices and partnerships for the benefit of people and their rural landscapes. Sand County Foundation works with private landowners because the majority of the nation’s fish, wildlife, and natural resources are found on private lands.
About The South Dakota Cattlemen's Association
The South Dakota Cattlemen's Association (http://www.sdcattlemen.org) is a member-driven organization working to advance and protect the interests of all cattlemen. SDCA works to facilitate a profitable business climate and promote environmental stewardship.
About The South Dakota Grassland Coalition
The South Dakota Grassland Coalition (http://www.sdgrass.org) is a non-profit organization that seeks the voluntary improvement of grasslands for the long-term needs of the resource and its various species. The SD Grassland Coalition is dedicated to improving and maintaining the state’s grasslands by informing and guiding grassland managers to make cost-effective and environmentally sound management decisions.